Southern Thai partridge curry

Luke Farrell notes that small game birds like partridge, ducks and quail are very popular in Southern Thailand, typically 'gently simmered in a rich coconut gravy until falling off the bone'. This recipe uses a pressure cooker, so the partridge becomes wonderfully tender in just 20 minutes.

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First published in 2023
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In a pestle and mortar, finely pound the turmeric, chillies and peppercorns, and add the curry paste to combine


In a pressure cooker, add the vegetable oil and stir-fry the curry paste until fragrant

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Add the palm sugar to caramelise the paste

  • 2 tbsp of palm sugar

Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Add the fish sauce, and then taste, adding more if needed. Add the partridges, put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes or until the meat falls off the bone


Release the pressure from the pressure cooker manually. Cook the curry for 5 more minutes uncovered over high heat if the birds aren't quite done. Remove the bird from the pan. Add in the roasted coconut flakes, torn makrut lime leaves and pink peppercorns and simmer the sauce for a few more minutes, or until it has reduced slightly


And a squeeze of lime juice to taste, then serve the birds whole, spooning the rich sauce over hot rice

Chef Luke Farrell introduces Londoners to the lesser-known herbs, roots and pastes of southern Thailand, using plants which are grown in his tropical greenhouses in Dorset at his restaurants Speedboat Bar and Plaza Khao Gaeng.

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